This was a vintage quite unlike its predecessor, marked by damp, changeable weather with temperatures ranging from cool to torrid. This, combined with a high incidence of disease, led to erratic growth throughout the year and resulted in uneven fruit set and crop loads that forced us to maintain the vineyards parcel by parcel –- and in some cases, even vine by vine. The end of the season was no better than the beginning: A wet, cool August was followed by a heat wave in early September, then thundery periods at the start of the harvest.
All of this, of course, made for grapes with distinctly different tastes depending on variety and terroir. That, in turn, complicated matters at the winemaking stage, fuelling predictions that the birth of the 2006 vintage would be anything but pain-free! But despite all the difficulties there are some nice surprises, with Bordeaux wines falling into two, fairly distinct categories: firm and somewhat austere in style; more mellow and less extracted.
The results far exceed expectations and are partly due to the strict sorting of grapes at the time of picking and on the sorting tables on arrival at the winery.
Ten years ago, the outcome would probably have been quite different. Most winegrowers would have preferred to harvest early rather than wait and run the risk of rot development. The 2006 vintage is a credit to all those winegrowers.
Color: Rich and full with deep red highlights.
Nose: Lovely red fruit, showing ripeness and a mixture of subtly toasty, truffly aromas mingled with hints of spices and the forest floor -- quite complex even at this early stage.
Palate: A touch lively on the attack but agreeably firm and rounded as it develops on the palate, with no trace of hardness. Lovely, fairly elegant substance showing silky, persistent but unaggressive tannins. Somewhat firm on the finish for the time being but with all the signs of a great wine that will improve with age: elegant, refined and mouth-watering.
- June 2007